Monday, 1 December 2014

Winter Vegetable Cakes with a Cheesy Bechamel Sauce

Did you know Spotify has a radio channel? I didn't until this very day, my flatmate put it on, and we blasted it through the speakers as I was cooking up these lovely vegetable cakes below.

We're talking Counting Crows, Blur, Britney Speaks, N'Sync, Backstreet Boys, No Doubt, Lou Bega - I jest not. It was 90s-tastic and then some!

But, let's talk food, as I assume that is why you manage to stumble upon these here words. I found this recipe in the ever so lovely Sophie Dahl's cook book, but had to change it sliiightly, based on what I had at hand!

Winter Vegetable Cakes with a Cheesy Bechamel Sauce
(Serves 2 as a main, 3 as Lunch, and 6 as a light Starter)

Cooked-pre-fried-but-still-delicious state of vegetable patties

2-3 carrots, peeled and diced
1 large potato, diced
1/3 celeriac, diced (about 200g)
A handful curly kale
1 tbsp butter
Salt and pepper
1 tsp butter
1 small onion or 1/3 leek, finely chopped
A handful of spinach, torn

For the sauce:
1 cup milk (+ 1/2 tsp vegetable stock powder if using soy or nut-milk)
1 tbsp butter
A bit of salt and pepper
25g grated cheese
Fresh (finely chopped) or dry parsley
1 tsp arrowroot, or 2 tsp cornflour mixed with a bit of water

- Start by making the vegetable cakes: Have the carrot, potato, celeriac and kale in a medium casserole and cover with boiling water, add a bit of salt and simmer for about 15-20 minutes until tender. Drain, and then mix in 1 tbsp butter, salt and butter and mash. Set aside.

- Heat 1 tsp oil in a small frying pan, and have the onion/leek and spinach in to soften for a few minutes. Add to the vegetable mixture and chill for about an hour in the fridge (if you have the patience!).

- Now, take out the vegetable mixture from the fridge and shape into 6 vegetable cakes. Heat butter in a large frying pan on medium heat, and fry for a good few minutes on each side until lovely and golden. Flip every few minutes, but be careful not to break them.

- As the vegetable cakes are cooking, you can make the sauce! Take a small frying pan or casserole and heat up the butter and milk along with the salt, pepper and parsley. Right before it starts bubbling, turn down the heat and mix in the cheese. Then, mix the arrowroot powder/cornflour with about 50ml water or milk and whisk lightly to get rid of the lumps, now pour it into your sauce and allow for it to thicken after a couple of minutes.

Once your vegetable cakes are golden, and the sauce it's done - it's ready to serve!

I only fried four of these, as I was sort of hungry, and only cooking for myself. BUT the remaining two vegetable cakes I had pre-fried and with a little sweet chilli sauce, it was the bomb!

Do you have a favourite veggie-burger or vegetable cake recipe?

I cannot believe it is already December, can you?
Because I work in a place that leaves me either regularly snacking on, serving, or finding myself partially covered with chocolate, I had to stay away from the traditional chocolate calendar this year. So yesterday after work, I went to the shops and bought 24 flumps, remember them? THE marshmallow of all marshmallows, that tastes like chewy sugar clouds, if they were made of marshmallow anyway... The girl behind the counter looked at me both confused and amused, and when I explained the situation, she totally understood. And so it was the Julie went back to her flat and pieced together her own questionable advent calendar like so:

I stuck a number to each of them, and made sure I have three per string, so that when I go to Norway on the 22nd, I have the last three to take with me ^ ^

And the straw-bucks are in place in the window sill now!

I hope you have had a good start to your December so far, do you have an advent calendar?

Inspired by:
From Season to Season, p. 45

- Jules


  1. Those look wonderful! Love the bechamel sauce, so fancy but so so simple :)

    1. Hey! Thanks :) The sauce really took no time at all ^ ^ Glad you like' em! x

  2. Yum! They look tasty Jules :)
    This is my go to recipe for vegetable fritters: a gorgeous hint of curry.

    1. Mmm they look wonderful Kat, thanks for the heads up! I love curry sauces and just the curry spice mix in general, miiight just have to try those ones out :D Hope you're well :) x

  3. Haha, musikken på 90-tallet <3 Jeg synes det er så artig å høre på det, og kan gjerne høre på BSB, Westlife, Spice Girls, osv. Det gøye er jo at man kan alle tekstene også :)
    Dette ser og høres nydelig ut!
    God første desember Julie :)

    1. Det tar meg helt tilbake til "ungdommen" - om folk på vår alder for lov til og si sånt, hihi :)
      Kan teksten og kan teksten, husker jeg sang med til den ene Spice Girl sangen: "Yo here's a story from A to C, you wanna get with me Imma lessakappalei", jeg var selvfølgelig bare liten når denne var populær, men er jo artig da :P
      Disse vegetar kakene var deilige! God desember til deg også skjønne :) x

    2. Hahaa, slik sang jeg også :D :D :D Men NÅ kan jeg tenkten. Nesten iallefall ;)

    3. <3 Vi får fortsette og øve ;) x

  4. Check out the advent calendar I made for my boyfriend:

    But I love your idea! Maybe next year...

    Also, I have been obsessed with 90s music lately. I just looked up what spotify was, because I had no idea. I might be listening away this weekend :P

    By the way, this recipe sounds awesome! I seriously need to get into winter vegetable cooking.

    1. That is such an awesome advent calendar missy! A little more professional than my flump-tastic one, haha ^ ^ I wonder what's inside all those little boxes, hohumm!
      Winter vegetables are best when served up simply, with just a few accompaniments, or as soup - soup is awesome, hehe :) I hope you've had a good kick-start to your month :D x

  5. It's mostly candy and tea. Some are gift cards and scratch tickets though. I wanted to get creative this year :p

    1. Nice one! I usually get a scratch card or two in my christmas stocking too ^ ^ So potentially you have given him millions ;) Mmmm sweets and tea, that's awesome :D x